Singapore's water polo technical director Paul Oberman will be leaving his post at the end of November, after just under a year of working in the role, due to the need to return to Australia to tend to family medical emergencies.
Beginning Dec. 1, he will be the head coach for the Australian women's water polo team.
Wife was diagnosed with cancer
In a statement on Nov. 9, the Singapore Swimming Association (SSA) announced the news of Oberman's departure, as he needs to return to Australia due to some medical emergencies in his family.
He will leave for Australia on Saturday (Nov. 13).
The New Paper reported that Oberman's wife has been diagnosed with cancer, and he is returning to Australia to tend to her.
He had been appointed to his post in January of this year on a two-year contract, The Straits Times reported.
SSA credited Oberman — an Australian former water polo player who competed in the 1992 Summer Olympics — with being "instrumental in helping SSA review and improve the Water Polo Multi Year Sports Plan to have long term sustainability in pipelines and developing the technical capabilities of coaches".
Oberman expressed his confidence in the leadership of Singapore Water Polo to have a "very measured and thoughtful approach to achieving success", adding:
"One of the things Water Polo needs to improve on is to increase the number of domestic and International matches played, giving the athletes game experiences, but additionally gaining valuable coaching and refereeing opportunities and experiences.
Through this increase in performing under pressure and duress, naturally the players, coaches and referees will improve bringing the sport to a higher level."
"My heart is with Singapore, and I have many lifelong friends here that have rallied to support me during this difficult time. I would like to publicly thank SSA for their support and I wish Singapore Water Polo and SSA every success for the future."
SSA's vice-president for Water Polo, Dominic Soh, said, "While we would have liked Paul to stay on, we understand the predicament that he and his family are facing, and we fully support his decision to return to Australia."
SSA said that it has already begun the process of searching for a technical director, and will announce the appointment in due time.
Will be head coach of women's water polo team
On Friday (Nov. 12), Water Polo Australia announced that Oberman will be the new head coach for the Australian women's water polo team, officially starting Dec. 1.
"After deciding to return to Australia due to family health issues, Oberman said the timing of the role with Water Polo Australia was ideal," the announcement read.
Oberman said that he is excited to head the Australian women's water polo team in the lead up to the 2024 Olympics in Paris, France.
"After making the decision to return to Australia to be closer to family as we work through some health concerns, the opportunity to work with Water Polo Australia again, this time with the women’s program, was one I couldn’t pass up.
Our women’s water polo team has a very proud history… I’ve always prided myself on creating your own history and I really want to work with the women’s team to do that."
Top photo via Singapore Swimming Association.